Quick Thoughts on Life and Happiness

Bangkok, Thailand

If you’re not familliar with the Artists Abroad trip, you should check out the quick blog post before reading this article!

Today I found myself zipping through the streets of Bangkok in the back of a tuk tuk. As the driver haphazardly swerved to avoid interfering traffic, I glanced at the people on the sidewalks; going about their daily business in a fashion so awkwardly different than those back at home  in the states. The signs for little shops, the food vendors peddling rice and chicken among all other Asian cuisine, and the rain splashing onto the asphalt.

I was happy. Very happy. I’m so lucky, I thought.

Minutes earlier I had been infuriated and frustrated. I have been sick with some kind of chest cold for the past couple of days, and when I woke up this morning my laptop had suddenly quit working. My computer is my lifeline on the road, the important key to our limited financial income. We were on our way to a computer repair store.

In the tuk tuk, though, I didn’t think about it. Maybe I didn’t care. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. We’ve done a lot of that on this trip. It’s worth it, at moments such as these, though. Other than the illness, living has been much better than Europe, and we’re about to embark on possibly the highlight of the trip: Island living.

Always look for a positive. My will has been tested repeatedly, and broken on many occasions. This is when it is time to be strong, and find the courage and spirit to push on against the odds. You’ll always regret giving up, but you’ll never regret overcoming all depredations and succeeding. You never know what you may find on the road ahead.

We said goodbye to Corey about two days ago, which was another setback. He has made the decision to go home early to be with his girlfriend. We supported his decision, and want him to be happy. If not for his relationship, we know he would still be here. Everyone’s lives are different, and everyone has priorities, and his is to his future with his family; which we understand completely.

We will miss the big guy, though!

We have much to look forward to however, so we will press onward in good spirits. Sunday we leave for the island of Koh Phangan, which we have looked forward for months now. From there it’s on to Indonesia, where we hope to find a nice quiet spot on the beach to make our home for a month or two. Find positives.

What I realized today, and during the past week for that matter, is that life is good. Sometimes the going may be rough, but overall I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I’ve learned so much about myself as a person, and I’ve pushed myself further than I thought possible. This is what I tell people consistently:

Travel makes you a better, stronger person.

Get out and experience the world, or even just a nearby city. Observe the people, and how they go about their daily lives, unknowingly contributing to the tiny little tics and hums that make the world what it is. You will learn a lot about yourself, and hopefully gain compassion for other cultures. Always find a positive. If none can be found, make one.

It is you who decides whether you are happy with your life or not. No one else. Find what you love about yourself, and focus on those things. Work on correcting the negative aspects of your personality. Be happy with yourself and you will be happy. 


Chao Phraya River in Bangkok


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